Squanch Games’ High on Life just became the biggest Xbox Game Pass launch of 2022, and also the biggest third-party launch on Game Pass to date. This is incredibly good news for both Xbox and Squanch, as High on Life is a particularly offbeat game that doesn’t really follow the same path as most AAA or indie titles.
“This was the first time we’d released a game with Game Pass,” said Mike Fridley, studio head and COO of Squanch Games. “And we’ve been blown away by the player response that has made us the most popular game on Game Pass right now. When Squanch Games was first created, it was to make the games we wanted to play, and Game Pass is helping us reach players who also want to play those games.”
High on Life is a first-person action-adventure shooter that puts the player in the shoes of a teenager caught up in a galactic conflict with an alien cartel. The game combines light RPG and shooter elements to offer a fun and unique gaming experience. The game is currently available on Xbox Game Pass and Steam.
Also read: Xbox Game Pass generated $2.9 billion in console revenue in 2021 for Microsoft
High on Life goes live on launch day
Rick and Morty co-creator Justin Roiland brings his trademark quirky humor to the table in this goofy first-person shooter and the response from fans seems to be pretty positive so far. The game is a pretty perfect match for a service like Game Pass, as it falls somewhere between a massive indie project and a small-scale AAA game.
Games like High on Life and Pentiment are games that nowadays only seem possible through Xbox Game Pass, as it provides enough protection for both the developer and the publisher. Obsidian’s Josh Sawyer recently spoke with Alanah Pearce on her “Video Game Writing 101” podcast and explained how Game Pass has enabled studios to launch and build these creative and offbeat games.
Game Pass appears to be a boon for the industry and gamers alike, allowing studios to take on riskier creative ventures without the burden of meeting specific sales targets. High on Life might not have been the easiest release to make some 4-5 years ago, but thanks to Game Pass, Squanch is able to find a much larger audience compared to his last release, “Trover Saves the Universe.”
Xbox Game Pass is one of the most exciting subscription services in the business right now and has proven time and time again that it provides the most value to gamers. It will be interesting to see if the success of games like High on Life and Pentiment will allow Xbox to undertake even more creative projects and really build a foundation for indies and III on the platform.